Why DuPage County residential property owners could see increase on tax bills

Updated 5/3/2021 10:09 AM

With commercial vacancies on the rise, DuPage County homeowners and landlords could see an increase in their 2020 property tax bills as residential sites bear a greater percentage of the tax burden.

When tax bills start arriving this week, property owners can expect an average jump of about 3.18%, despite a 0.62% decline in the average tax rate, County Treasurer Gwen Henry said. That's mostly because residential valuation is outpacing commercial, she said.


Levy increases by local municipalities, schools or other taxing bodies also could result in a higher amount owed, she added.

DuPage saw a roughly 3.8% hike in its assessed property value in 2020. Residential property makes up 76.3% of the county's total $43 billion value, compared to 76% in 2019, according to a message on the treasurer's website.

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial property vacancies are increasing, therefore lowering their assessed value," she said in a written statement. "The result of commercial property values decreasing causes residential property to take on a greater percentage of the tax burden."

The first installment of property taxes is due June 1. To help ease the burden on some community members, the DuPage County Board passed a measure waiving the late payment penalty until Aug. 1 for property owners who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 1,992 property owners participated in a similar program instituted last year, Henry said.

"We have recognized that it's not an easy time right now," she said, adding that families who set aside money to pay property taxes could now need those funds for mortgage or car payments, groceries, medicine or other necessities.

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To qualify for the waiver, the property owner must demonstrate a financial hardship as a result of the pandemic due to a layoff or termination of employment, a 20% or more reduction of income, the shutdown of a nonessential business, or the inability to collect at least 80% of the rent on a property in 2020 or 2021.

The second installment of property taxes is due Sept. 1, for which late payments will result in the usual statutory penalties, Henry said.

Waiver applications can be completed or downloaded at dupageco.org/treasurer.

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